Sharing frustrations with heavy chairs, pointless phone menus, and new-fangled toilets

Approximately seven-and-one-half billion people wake up on a Tuesday morning but The Old Men of the Mountain know where about 45 OFs wake up on a Tuesday morning. It’s a little pinprick on the planet’s surface in one of the prettiest places the planet has to offer.

On this particular Tuesday morning, Oct. 8, some of these OFs woke up and headed to the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg to have breakfast.

One particular OF complained that the chairs were too heavy and they should have rollers on their legs. It is not that the chairs are too heavy, it is the OFs are getting so weak, i.e., to many of the OFs, five pounds is now 25 pounds. Other OFs chimed in on this and the waitress took this grumbling very well, in the nature it was intended, and she knew it.

The OFs didn’t care whether the chairs were five pounds or 50; they were just commenting on something, anything to pick up on what one OF said.

Then one OF said, “These coffee cups are too small.”

Yeah right! In fact, they are just like any other cup. The OF just wanted to add to the discussion, only this time the waitress was ready for him.

She said, “If they are too small, next time bring your own cup; we will fill it for you.”

Now the OF should remember this and the next time we are at the Duanesburg Diner he should bring his own cup.

The waitresses are as much fun as the OMOTM.

Get your flu shot

It is time to get your flu shots, and some of the OFs have already gotten theirs. One thing we should take seriously is that young children, and the elderly don’t want to do is get the flu.

The ability for these groups to fight off the effects of the flu is not like some 25-year-old. The OFs do give advice, as was said before, but this particular advice is surely good to follow.

Take it from the OMOTM who have had some suffering with the flu. They speak from experience.


One OF, who is on his computer a lot, came into the breakfast and announced that the OF with the pirate ship and skeleton crew were on the internet. It seems some passer-by took pictures of ship and crew and posted them on the net.

The OF who has this display already has people stopping and taking pictures — now he is afraid he will have more. This OF said he is going to put out parking meters. Not a bad idea.

Frustrating phone menus

Quite often, there are ads on television that depict something of interest, or it may be an ad in the paper. On television generally it shows a room full of people answering the phone.

The OFs say this is classic false advertising. The OFs say there really is only one guy in a closet with a couple of phones, a can of Blue Ribbon beer and wearing worn-out sneakers and no socks, answering only a few calls a day because no one can understand the menu to get through to whatever company it is.

One OF said he feels some of the biggest offenders are doctor’s offices and insurance companies.

Another OF said all he wants to do is ask a simple question. An example would be: If he wants to change A to B (regarding his insurance,) how should he go about doing that?

The OFs say he is given a litany of departments, each with its own number, none of which are relevant to what he is after. This scribe could go on with all the “if you want this, press 1, if you want that, press 2, etc.” but it would fill up the column, and the OF said none of the selections apply to what the ads either print, or television portrays.

Still another OF said one time he was talking to his doctor about these frustrating telephone menus and the doctor told him he hates to call his place because the menu doesn’t help at all.

The doctor went on to explain, “After I select what I think is right, it turns out it is wrong. I have trouble calling myself,” he said.

Flushing out a new topic

The OFs began talking about a subject they are all familiar with (and, as the OFs get older and older, they become even more familiar with) and that is toilets. This topic did approach the OFs conversation and the OFs were not discussing their use, but their function and how they are changing.

Their change is only physical. The process of power and vapor trap has not changed since the 1500s. The idea of the toilets has not changed since the construction of the Roman Coliseum which was started in 70 AD. 

“Now,” the OFs said, “We have a choice.” The toilets are either high or low, loud with a swoosh, or quiet, even ones that have electronic eyes that know when you’re on and off, or in front and leave and then they flush themselves.

One OF said many newly constructed buildings install the high ones. But, as technology advances, there are now the electric ones that turn everything to ash.

Now, that one has nothing to do with Rome and the Coliseum.  And to think that the wives believe we have nothing remarkable to talk about.

Those OFs who were at the Duanesburg Diner in Duanesburg and would like to go back to the days when the phone operators picked up the phone and all the OF had to say was, “Doc Walker please,” and the next thing you know you were talking to Doc Walker, or the phone operator would say he was out getting his hair cut, were: Roger Chapman, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Miner Stevens, Wally Guest, Harold Guest, John Rossmann, Pete Whitbeck, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Karl Remmers, Joe Rack, Roger Shafer, Wayne Gaul, Jake Lederman, Ted Feurer, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Rev. Jay Francis, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, and me.